OSU researchers unlock genetic code of eucalyptus tree species
By Eric Mortenson
Oregon State University researchers, working with an international team of scientists, have completed genetic sequencing of a eucalyptus tree that is used for fiber, pulp, biofuel and medicinal and industrial oils.
The work could allow breeders to improve growth rates, wood quality, biomass yield, stress tolerance and other traits of a widely planted species called Eucalyptus grandis, according to an OSU news release.
Twelve OSU scientists, most associated with the College of Agricultural Sciences or College of Forestry, took part in the project. They used the computing capacity at the university’s Center for Genome Research and Biocomputing to identify functions carried out by the tree’s 36,000 genes.
A research group from South Africa supplied the eucalyptus tissue sequenced by Oregon State. Scientists from Brazil, Australia and Europe also are involved in the project. Funding came from OSU, the Tree Biosafety and Genomics Research Cooperative, the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy.